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Neil Young

'Green' On Red

NeilThe story of a fictional family living in a fictional town, Neil Young's new Reprise album "Greendale" touches on drugs, murder, media intrusion and corporate corruption. It is classic Young, and it's certainly more enjoyable and easier to follow for those who caught Young's summer tour, during which a group of actors performed the entire tale onstage as Young and Crazy Horse played.

Those unfamiliar with the tale can still find much to savor here, especially the lone acoustic cut, the Bob Dylan-referencing "Bandit" (which features the repeated line "Some day, you'll find what you're looking for"), and the sweetly nostalgic "Double E" ("Back in the day/Living in the summer of love"). Driven by often hypnotic, restrained grooves, the set finds Young in fine form, defiant in the face of trends and conventional music-biz thinking and completely obedient to his muse.

"Greendale" will also exist as a stand-alone film, directed by Young under his alias Bernard Shakey. No dialog is included in the movie, which features a number of Young's family members and such longtime associates as musician Ben Keith and "Greendale" album co-producer L.A. Johnson. Young himself cameos as entertainer Wayne Newton. The film will premiere in September at the Toronto Film Festival and will be released as a separate DVD in the fall.

This week, Reprise also reissues the long out-of-print Young albums "On the Beach," "American Stars 'N Bars," "Hawks & Doves" and "Re.ac.tor," which were originally slated for June 24.